OECD Guidelines on Measuring the Quality of the Working Environment

image of OECD Guidelines on Measuring the Quality of the Working Environment

This publication presents an internationally agreed set of guidelines for producing more comparable statistics on the quality of the working environment, a concept that encompasses all the non-pecuniary aspects of one's job, and is one of the three dimensions of the OECD Job Quality framework. These Guidelines take stock of current data availability in this field, review the analytic and policy uses of these measures, proposes a conceptual framework based on 6 dimensions and 17 characteristics (ranging from physical risk factors and work intensity, through to task discretion, autonomy and opportunities for self-realisation), assesses the statistical quality of measures in this field, and provides guidance to data producers and users on methodological challenges in this field. These Guidelines also include a number of prototype surveys modules that national and international agencies could use in their surveys.

These Guidelines have been produced as part of the OECD Better Life Initiative, a pioneering project launched in 2011 with the objective of measuring society's conditions across 11 dimensions of people's well-being. They follow on from similar measurement guidelines on subjective well-being, micro statistics on household wealth, integrated analysis of the distribution on household income, consumption and wealth, as well as trust.


Methodological issues

This chapter discusses how information on the quality of the working environment should be collected. It reviews the role of data sourced from surveys and administrative records as well as from surveys of workers and employers. It notes the importance of collecting data that cover the characteristics of both jobs and workers and that are relevant to employees and self-employed workers. The chapter also reviews evidence on the impact of survey modes and the interview sites on the quality of data on the working environment collected through surveys. The chapter draws on state-of-the-art methodologies adopted by national and international initiatives such as the European Working Conditions Survey, the British Skills and Employment Surveys and the French Enquête Conditions de Travail to discuss the various issues that should be considered when designing a questionnaire to assess the quality of the working environment.



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